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Paphos Local News October 2017

Monarch Airlines folds - thousands being flown home
By Bejay Browne
Monarch Airlines has ceased trading resulting in hundreds of thousands of holiday cancellations and 1,858 staff redundancies, according to administrators.
The collapse of Britain's fifth-biggest airline has adversely affected around 860,000 passengers, 110,000 people are being flown home from abroad and future bookings of 750,000 passengers have also been cancelled.
The company is based at Luton Airport and operates from four other UK bases – London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds Bradford – flying to more than 40 destinations around the world. It has been in business since 1968 and is the biggest UK airline to ever cease trading.

Shares of the airlines’ rivals, EasyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air rose as competition reduced and the possibility to acquire some of its assets arose.
“I am truly sorry that it has ended like this,” Monarch Chief Executive Andrew Swaffield told employees in a message.
Monarch‘s finances took a hit in 2016, amid security concerns that affected travel to Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt. The airline was bailed out by its owner Greybull Capital a year ago.
“Monarch has really been a victim of a price war in the Mediterranean,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told Sky News.
Grayling said that he expected many of Monarch‘s staff to get jobs elsewhere.
KPMG and joint administrator of Monarch, told Reuters that although a drop in income was the basis of the airline’s problems, a drop in the pound following Britain’s vote to leave the EU had made things even tougher.
Customers affected by the company’s collapse should check the website for advice and information on flights back to the UK. The CAA assured that passengers would be brought home on flights as close as possible to their original times, dates and destination, but noted that some delay was inevitable.

New Sculpture Park opens in Paphos
By Bejay Browne
A new sculpture park in Geroskipou has been inaugurated by the Cyprus Minister of Education and Culture.
The new park is home to ten completed sculptures created by different artists from all over the world, and has a theme of ‘Myths and Sculptures,’ and is part of the official ‘Pafos2017’ cultural capital programme.
A spokeswoman for Pafos2017 told the Paphos Post: “The artists, started working at the park from the 9th September 2017 and the works were completed on Sunday 24th, when the inauguration took place by the Minister, Kostas Kadis.”
The ten participating artists from Cyprus and abroad were chosen from an open call for the 1st International Sculpture Symposium and Sculpture Park and the Pafos2017 Organisation received 207 proposals from 29 countries, she said.
The selected proposals which will be installed at the new park are :“Muse”,  Emin Petrosyan (Armenia), “Europa”-“Ariadne auf Naxos”, Gao Meng (China) , “Fragile”, Genti Tavanhili  (Italy) , “Untitled”Giorgos Moisi (Cyprus), “Sanctuary” Lanitis Christos (Cyprus) ,“The song of Serene”, Arsenty Lysenkov (Cyprus), “ Ariadne’s thread‘’,  Negara Ana Maria Aurelia (Romania),  “Great head of Aphrodite”, Olaf Klepzig (Germany), “The Rebellion of Prometheus”, Agnessa Petrova (Bulgaria) and “Antique torso”, Viktor Korneev (Sweden).
The project is curated by Paphos based artist Katerina Foukara, who came up with the proposal for a sculpture park ahead of Paphos’ winning bid for the European cultural capital title. She also has her own studio in Kissonerga, and is well known for her paintings, drawings and sculpture.
She explained that the decision was made to use local Cypriot stone, sourced from a quarry close to Limassol as a way to connect the past with the present.
“This is a way to bring the sculpture closer to history, as many of the antiquities used this stone,” she said.
She added that that the stone is like a limestone, but is quite hard and not smooth, and unlike granite and other materials often used.
Pafos2017 spokeswoman said that entrance to the park is free, adding that: “The sculpture park connects the artistic objectives of a European Capital of Culture with a substantial intervention in the urban landscape, creating the ideal conditions for dialogue between people and the arts, and also the environment.”
She added that such projects prove that the European Capital of Culture creates the conditions and framework which allow for sustainable projects and provides a way for artists to contribute to the aim to develope conscience and change mentality.
Foukara said that a variety of projects had won final approval, some realistic, some abstract and using different techniques.
“The artists come from various backgrounds and are well- known in their home countries, they have been staying in Geroskipou for the last fifteen days,” she added.

The curator said that this is the first time that she has organised such a large, International project and that in line with the idea of a symposium, the artists have been spending time together, exchanging ideas and discussing views.
The sculptors have been fascinating visitors to the park with their work in recent days, as they have been able to watch cubes of stone being transformed into stunning works of art and watch the different techniques involved.
“It has been particularly interesting and informative for the schools which have visited, as the onus these days is on technology, video and so on. This is a more organic approach,” she said.
Mayor of Geroskipou, Michalis Pavlides, has been fully supportive of the venture and aims to make the sculpture symposium an annual event which will add further beautiful sculptures to the park every year.
The new park is found close to the central square of Geroskipou and was previously an unused open space.

Ryanair announce new flights for Paphos
By Bejay Browne
Ryanair announced seven new flights for Paphos due to get underway next year, in the wake of a media storm concerning cancelled flights.
The Irish airline, Europe’s largest, recently said that it had messed up pilot’s annual leave and didn’t have enough pilots to operate all flights in the coming months. The airline has published full details of which of its flights are being cancelled.
At a Paphos press conference to announce the new Cyprus flights, David O’Brien, Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, candidly admitted the airline’s failure and mistakes.
“We screwed up, “he said, “we deserve the blame, we made a mistake and we’re sorry. We are going to compensate people in accordance with EU regulations; our rostering people attempted to give the pilots all of their annual leave in nine months, due to changes in our annual year.”
He said that the airline had simply given too much holidays to their pilots.
“We have tried to concentre our cancelations in airports where we have many other alternative flights or routes where we have higher frequencies, so that there are options for passengers,” he said.
However, he noted that its good news for Cyprus and Paphos, was that the airline planned to invest a further €100 million in Paphos, where it has its Cyprus base. With the arrival of a third aircraft, the airline is expecting a record summer in 2018. Ryanair also operates one flight out of Larnaca, to Brussels.
The airline announced that the seven new routes scheduled for Cyprus, were all in emerging markets, with the exception of Ireland and that the total now of 15 routes would deliver 800,000 customers per annum through Paphos airport next year. This represents a 45 per cent increase.
The new routes, which will fly two or three times a week using Paphos, are to Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Dublin, Riga, Sofia and Tallinn
“These routes are mostly developing and new markets where employment is rising, unemployment is falling, disposable income is rising and these are the new source markets for tourism,” said O’Brien.
He said that Ryanair was helping to diversify Cyprus’ source market and also to attract different age groups. He noted that this was going to be a particularly strategic move ahead of Brexit.
O’Brien issued a stark warning to Cyprus regarding Brexit disruption to flights calling it, ‘highly likely’, noting that flights to and from the UK could be adversely affected and even brought to a halt.
“The problem with aviation is that we start planning our programme for 2019 early in 2018 and we will have to start to cutting back late in 2018 if there’s no certainty,” he said.
He warned that a hard Brexit would mean that there would be no rules in place covering flights between Europe and the UK, and if there were ‘no rules, there will be no flights’.
“I strongly recommend that the Cypriots put aviation at the forefront of discussions as Malta is doing, because the Germans and the French don’t care, and that will be a problem for the rest of Europe especially the smaller countries.”
He said that this would be a strong bargaining chip for Germany.
The Chief of Commercial Operations explained that there would be an absence of a policy, as the bilateral arrangements have been superseded, and that the airlines operate within the open skies framework within Europe.
“You can only enter it if you accept the decisions of the European courts of justice and the UK has said they are not accepting these decisions.”
He said that it’s conceivable that for a period of time in 2019 no-one will be able to fly from the UK to destinations including Cyprus, and advised that the Cyprus government should use their voice to push the topic firmly onto the agenda.
“Aviation is not covered by world trade organisation rules, and Lufthansa and Air France really don’t want Britain to be part of any open skies,” he said.
Chlorakas centre to get major overhaul
By Bejay Browne
A new look Chlorakas is due to emerge in the coming months as an upgrading project in the Paphos village centre is underway, according to the community leader.
Nikolas Liasides said that the project comes with a €930,000 price tag, 30 per cent of which is being covered by Chlorakas community board and the remaining 70 per cent by the government that recently announced funding for major projects in the area.
Much of Chlorakas enjoys spectacular views to the Paphos coast and is a popular place to settle for foreign and local residents, as well as holidaying tourists.
 “The upgrading work will take nine months to complete. We are very pleased that this project is finally getting underway,” he said.
The concept has been on the table for around ten years, and due to the concerted efforts of Liasides and the current community board, they have managed to secure the green light.
The project will span Eleftherios Street in the centre of the village, which is around 150m long, and transform it with block paving, as well as part of the square in the area. All utilities, such as Cyta telecommunications cables and electricity supplies, will be placed underground giving the area a more open feel, he said.
The community leader noted that the upgrade will also beautify the area, enhancing its traditional feel, whilst also tidying it up. Trees and shrubs will be planted and new lighting installed.
He said: “This will be of a huge benefit to the centre as currently it’s disorganised. There is not much to do and not many people visit here. There isn’t a proper place for people to go and eat and we aim, with this upgrading, to encourage new businesses to open in the area, this will mean more tourist will visit rather than the handful that come to take photos at the church. It will also mean more locals.”
Liasides said that in one or two years, the community board plans to carry out the second phase of upgrading work which will include the roads running south of the church.
“We are happy about this project and it’s a big step for us, we will be leaving a legacy and a new look Chlorakas for the next one hundred years or so.”

Paphos hosts visiting Israeli students
By Bejay Browne
A group of students from Herzliya in Israel were hosted by a number of Paphos families, a move which will further promote the strong ties between the two towns, according to a municipality spokesman.
In March, the second part of the twinning of Paphos with Herzliya took place in Israel, in the presence of Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides, the Israeli Tourism Minister, officials and numerous citizens.
The initial event saw a delegation from Israel visit Paphos in October last year.
A spokesman for the municipality said that the students visit will further build on the strong foundations that are being laid for the further development of Paphos’ relationship with Herzliya.
“This move sees the deepening of friendship and cooperative relations between the two neighbouring countries in an exchange of pupils between twinned cities Paphos and Herzliya,” he said.
He added that in July a group of Cypriot students enjoyed a similar hospitable experience when they were in Herzliya.
Students from Paphos and Herzliya along with their professors visited Paphos town hall. This was followed by excursions to archaeological sites and places of interest to familiarise the visitors with the place and its people, said the spokesman.
“As part of their hospitality, Israeli students also had the opportunity to visit the First Lyceum of Paphos where they will participated in the lessons, and were informed about the educational system of our country,” he added.
The Mayor of Paphos, Phedonas Phedonos, previously stated that the relationship between Paphos and Herzliya aspires to be a unique model, and a pillar of friendship and cooperation between the two cities with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Herzliya is well established in the field of technologies and Paphos municipality is hoping that collaboration between the two will focus on this speciality, as well as tourism.
Herzliya is considered part of the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Israel, home to many high-tech companies, and residents of Herzliya are among the wealthiest in Israel.
The spokesman said that Paphos municipality’s policy is to look for advances in this field and establish Paphos as the Cyprus centre for new and emerging technologies.
August arrivals hit new record
By Bejay Browne
Tourist arrivals rose 14 per cent in August, compared with the same period last year- mostly due to an increase in visitors from secondary markets, according to the Statistical Service, Cystat.
This is the highest ever number of recorded visitors in August, they said, a total of 523,651.
Arrivals from the UK, traditionally Cyprus’ main source of tourism, rose 7.9 per cent in August to 185,831, which more than offset a 2.5 per cent drop in arrivals from Russia which fell to 119,829.
In August, arrivals from Israel almost doubled to 52,944 and arrivals from Greece and Germany climbed 19 per cent and 55 per cent respectively, to 12,420 and 20,317. The number of Polish tourists more than doubled to 8,537, and visitors from Lebanon, Sweden and Norway rose 14,381, 18,303 and 7,205.
For the period, January to August, there was a rise of 15 per cent to 2,517,887 - the highest ever in that time frame and exceed the number of arrivals in the entire 2014, Cystat said. This was mainly due to increased arrivals from other markets, as the number of British and Russian visitors only rose 8.6 and 4.7 per cent.



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